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Thirteen YNP wolves radio-collared

Thin snow pack hinders efforts. Nez Perce Pack missing.


Efforts to radio-collar wolves in Yellowstone Park began shortly after New Year's and have been completed for the time being, but an additional effort will be made. Thirteen wolves were collared after great effort due to the thin cover of snow on the Northern Range which Dr. Doug Smith said allows the wolves to run very fast from the aircraft used for darting. Smith also indicated that wolves that have been darted once seem to remember and are more likely to take to the trees.

While there may be an effort to collar former Druid 105F's group, those packs outside the Northern Range especially need to be collared, such as the Chief Joseph Pack, Molly's Pack, the Yellowstone Delta Pack, and the Nez Perce Pack  which is missing again. Folks will recall that many of this pack of all gray wolves (pop. 20 ?) left the Park a year ago, and put in a brief showing in Eastern Idaho near Ashton, Squirrel, and Tetonia. That caused a lot of excitement, albeit short-lived when then soon returned to central Yellowstone.

Seven packs were collared, finally including the alpha male of the Geode Pack (106F's mate). 261M's probable mate 217F, in the new pack, who had dispersed from the Druids, was recollared.

One member of the non-Northern Range, Cougar Creek Pack, was collared. This pack resides mostly in the Park NE of West Yellowstone.

Three GPS collars were deployed, including one with the Druids and one with the Leopolds. In sum [Leopold-4, Swan Lake-3, Agate-2, Cougar Creek-1, Druid-1, Geode-1, and 261's group-1] were collared.

The new alpha female of the Leopolds (replacing 7F, slain by Geode Pack) is 259F, who was collared last winter.

In other news, most of Molly's Pack is back in the Pelican Valley.

Regarding the Nez Perce Pack's disappearance of Nov. 2001.

11-7-01. Large Number of Wolves appears in Eastern Idaho. Nez Perce Pack?

11-15-01 Core of the Nez Perce Pack located, but the Druids disappear.

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  Copyright 2003 Ralph Maughan

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Ralph Maughan PO Box 8264, Pocatello, ID 83209